Friday, April 25, 2008

*Insert impossibly clever title here*

I can’t believe it’s been so long since my last post. It really seems like only a day and a half. (Sure, that’s probably because I’ve only slept about 8 hours since then, so all of the days are just blending together, but whatever.)

The real shame is that, since my last post, I’ve thought of about a million updates for you—all wonderfully insightful and witty and otherwise brilliant. Unfortunately, because I haven’t been able to get my act together to write them down while they’re fresh in my mind, Poof! they’re gone. And the world will never know the genius that was…

So, in the way of a less witty and intelligent update, here it goes:

1. It turns out that having twins is hard. Really hard. I know what you’re thinking—we waited a freaking month to hear that having two kids is hard?! I’m never coming back again. But the thing is, it isn’t a cliché—it really is hard. Especially when they’re both crying and you feel powerless to stop it. And the funny thing is, everyone--our pediatrician, my lactation doc, our parents, random people we meet on the street--all tell us how well we're handling it. That we seem really calm "for twin parents." I can only imagine the disasters they see, then, because I'm constantly operating on almost zero sleep, have spit up on my clothes and in my hair, and panic when it looks like both babies are getting fussy at the same time.

Speaking of both babies getting fussy at the same time--it's super stressful. Sweet Potato has a cry that would absolutely break your heart. It’s like he is the saddest boy in the world and he just needs love. And the worst thing is when he’s crying like that and Monkey Girl starts to cry. She actually has tears. And seeing them stream down her face is equally heartbreaking. All I want to do is make them better, but I haven’t mastered the art of comforting two babies at once. If there are twin moms out there who have tips on how to comfort both babies at the same time, please share the secrets, because pretty soon hubby will be back at work full time and I’m on my own. And I’m scared about it.

The good news is that we’ve discovered the joy of excursions. Sure, it tires us out to be on the move all day, but when the babies are in motion, they’re calm. Asleep even. So, in addition to our daily dog walks, we take one excursion a day. And it makes me feel almost human on those days when I’ve strung together only three hours of sleep in total.

2. In the first week or so after delivery, I watched the weight fall off and thought, “how hard could this possibly be?” I dropped about 35 lbs of my 55 lb weight gain almost immediately and got all smug that I’d be back to my pre-transfer weight in no time. And now the scale is stuck and I’m realizing that I might have to actually cut out the B*n & J*rry’s and C0stco chocolate chunk cookies* if I want to drop the last 18. I’m not overly worried about it—I get that it will take a while—but I have to admit that it smarts a bit when the cashier at the B*st Buy asks me if I know what I’m having and I have to explain that I’m not, actually, pregnant anymore. *sigh*

3. I hate to say it, but I don’t miss being pregnant. I think I’m supposed to, but I just don’t. I am really enjoying being able to cut my toenails and sleep on my back. And I’m LOVING taking long walks again with the stickies and the dog. (The absolutely gorgeous weather we’ve been having doesn’t hurt either…) And I really love not having to rely on ultrasounds and dopplers to know how my babies are doing. For me, pregnancy was merely a means to an end. An end at which I’ve happily arrived.

4. I had my four week postpartum appointment last week and it looks like all’s well. I’ll be cleared to take baths, swim, and exercise after six weeks. (So, I guess I’ll have no excuse not to get started on dropping those 18lbs, huh?) Like so many infertile new moms, I had a good long laugh when my doc talked to me about birth control. “Start by using condoms right away. You need to be careful.” Ha! Ha! (doubles over laughing) Oh, wait. My bad. You were serious. Yeah, okay, I’ll go back to condoms. *wink, wink*

I mean, come on, if there’s one good thing about not being able to get pregnant without medical intervention, isn’t it that I don’t have to endure the nuisance of condoms ever again? Give me a break.

5. Breastfeeding twins is complicated on every level. On the one hand, if they’re both hungry at once, it’s hard to feed them together. I almost never do it. So, when you flip to those pages in your pregnancy books that show pictures of calm women nursing twins effortlessly by using the “football hold,” know that it’s a sham. It’s really hard. First of all, when they’re both attached to your breasts, you don’t have a free hand to help relatch one of them when they come off (or start hurting you), which they eventually will. Second, you can’t tend to one to burp him or her, etc. with the other is attached to you. (Or, I can’t anyway. Again, any dexterous twin moms out there with tips, I’m all ears.) Third, when they go on their tear where they’re both feeding every 2-2.5 hours, all you do is feed them. Literally. It’s all you do. And finally, without some serious dedication to feeding and pumping All. Day. Long. it’s really hard to build your supply up enough to avoid supplementing, particularly at night when the supply is lowest.

And, frankly, since breast milk is more easily digested, babies wake up hungry more often on breastmilk alone. So, I don’t really mind giving 10-20 cc’s of formula before bed in the hopes of getting, say, one three-hour stretch of sleep. (PS—that rarely happens, though, even with the supplementing, unless you fall asleep immediately when their heads hit the pillow. Oh, and only if they happen to be on the same feeding schedule at bedtime. It’s all very complicated…)

6. Yesterday was our anniversary. Four years. Of course, this year all we could muster the energy to do is go to the local brewery for a quick sandwich then come home to try to sleep (ha, ha!), but still. I wouldn’t have it any other way. ☺

Okay...babies crying...must go nurse. Moo. ☺

*For those of you who didn’t know, C0stco has THE BEST chocolate chip cookies in the world. Seriously, best ever. Pick some up today.


B said...

Lovely to hear from you. Sounds like you definitely have your hands full!!

Happy Anniversary to the two of you.

Keep updating when you get time.

P.S Its Becks from One Miracle...I moved blogs

serenity said...

So umm. YES. I don't have twins, I just have one, but pretty much everything you've mentioned??? Going through the same thing - though I expect yours is exponentially worse and better than my experience. (By worse I mean the crying and eating and sleep deprivation and such. By better I mean you'll have two gummy smiles soon, which from what I hear make the crying and eating and sleep deprivation SO.MUCH.BETTER.)

Anyway. I'm glad you checked in. I'm glad that you're both holding it together. I have no twins assvice for you - only that I hear it does get easier someday. And I commend you for almost exclusively breastfeeding two. You're like my hero or something.


Ms. Planner said...

Dear Dairy Queen - wow, super commendable that you are almost exclusively breastfeeding both of the stickies. Hats off. I'm trying to imagine feeding 2 at the same time and I can barely imagine it, much less actually do it.

But thank you so much for the update. Am so glad you have found a few things to keep you sane these days. Chocolate chunk cookies included.

Happy Anniversary, too! What a way to celebrate.

Diana said...

I have to agree that it sounds like you are doing an amazing job!!!!

robin said...

De-lurking to say Hooray! and Congratulations! and keep up the good work! I've got my hands full with just one 4-weeker... so kudos to you and thanks for the update in the middle of it all.

Sarah said...

wow! i started off nodding along, relating to everything you wrote (as usual) until...well, i seriously cannot imagine! a friend and i were just talking about this at dinner actually, how twin moms manage. thanks for shedding a little light on it! it does sound like you're doing an amazing job and i love your perspective (also as usual). what a wonderful anniversary! congratulations!!

E said...

So good to hear from you! I can only imagine how hard it is, but it's great that people are thinking you're doing so well! I bet it's good for the babies to have calm (acting) parents, even if you don't always feel so calm on the inside.

Thanks for the honesty on the tandem bf'ing. It does look impossible. I'll try it, but I'm not counting on anything...

Hopefully you can update us more often, but I certainly understand if you don't find the time. But maybe a few pictures????

Happy Anniversary!!

mommymae said...

i have 6 year old twins and nursed them for 15 months. i used a velcro-around nursing pillow and it held the babies up so that i could nurse them at the same time. mine was called, get this: my brest friend. a regular boppy would probably not work. i always nursed them together, otherwise i would have never done anything else. i also used it to carry the girls around when they were asleep or just hanging out when they were tiny. since it wrapped around me, i could hold them up like they were on a platform and either put one arm around the both of them so i could use the other arm or just for extra support if they were both fussy. i hope that isn't too confusing. let me know if you want more info.

you're doing great!! and - it gets easier!!

onthecurb said...

Congratulations on the twins!

I second Mommymae's suggestions of a twin nursing pillow. They're great for times when both kiddos are looking at you all famished and ready to pounce. And, you can usually wriggle a hand free to readjust a twin, a nipple, or change the channel. :-)

Also, I've found wearing one in a sling/wrap to be very helpful. I have a Moby wrap and will pop one or the other in there around the house or out walking, shopping, what have you. It's great. They usually fall asleep within a few minutes.

Best of luck!

Dianne/Flutter said...

Ahh, glad to see your post. I'll take what I can get....give those two love from me :).

P.S. I'm sure you are doing just fine.

Lena said...

I've been reading your blog for a while but this is the first comment from me. I also have newborn twins - they just turned 2 months on Sat. I so hear you how hard it is to have twins, with both of them crying at the same time, and feeding them at the same time. Mine are now on separate feeding schedules - two hours in between. This way I have about an hour between feeding babies to take care of everything else!

Rebecca said...

Just found your blog and I'm 22 weeks pregnant with boy/girl twins. Excuse me if I become a little addicted to your blog, but I really want to know what it's going to be like from someone who is in the midst of it all! I was reading the first part of it and I was like, "wait...being pregnant with twins is you mean having them in real life is even more difficult?" I'm such an idiot sometimes! It sounds like you're doing a great job though and making it through every single day...that's the ticket!

Tam said...

So glad to hear from you, was wondering were you'd gone!!

It definately sounds like hard work but how that last sentence sums it all up - I wouldn't have it any other way...

Happy anniversary to you two and good luck on losing the rest of your weight, don't feel bad...I would have laughed at the condom thing too!!

anna said...

As usual, I second everything you're saying. Way to go exclusively breastfeeding the twins...I'm workin my way towards that. This whole thing is just really, really hard, huh?! I guess I knew that but didn't realize the extent of it. Nice to know I'm not alone!

Lizzie said...

I am a mom to two sets of twins- aged twenty months and aged 8 months.

Really, only the first three months are hard. We developed a sleep schedule, and we slept in different rooms the first three months. Whoever was on baby duty slept in the nursery, and whoever was "off" wore ear plugs. We learned this from our first set of twins.

Right now I can't imagine not having my twins. They are oodles of fun and you are going to love every minute of it... after you get past the 3 hour feeds!

Good luck to you and your wee ones!